Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

  1. #1
    Registered User stringsattached's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    London,Ont Canada
    Posts
    38

    Default Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Ok, time for all the owners and wanna bes to comment ,boast or complain about their experiences with this unconventional Mandolin.
    Does the electric version sound great ? Sound ok? Or, Sound bad ?
    What kind of comments do you get from people seeing and hearing for the first time ?
    Even non-owners who have given one of the 3 models a fair assessment should feel free to Pipe in with their comments .
    ==================
    Ken

    Eastman Fan

  2. #2
    Pittsburgh Bill
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    550
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Played a non electric at Elderly. Better than travel mandolins I have owned. But outclassed by every other mandolin in the store.
    Keith Edward Coleman A style, oval hole Mandola
    Collings MT
    Weber Gallatin A Mandola "D hole"
    Kentucky KM-950
    Harley Benton A style (Current campfire tool)
    Rogue 100A (Spare canoe paddle)

  3. #3

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I tried a couple and found them surprisingly loud, certainly louder than I'd expected. I didn't find them particularly enjoyable though - they seemed a bit shrill, with little bass. The sound was a lot like "strings" and not much like "wood". Quite direct without much in the way of resonance or overtones to add complexity and character.

    Maybe it's just me but I didn't find them particularly relaxing or fun to play - although they seem very durable and the construction of the ones I saw was very good.

    I daresay this may be similar to the impression they've made on a few people - I recall a few threads on the same topic before. Actually, thinking back to those I'm not sure I've added anything new here! In any case I think some folk seemed to like them but the impressions I had seemed pretty common.

    Enjoy!

  4. The following members say thank you to Aaron Bohnen for this post:


  5. #4
    Registered User Ranald's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Ottawa, Canada
    Posts
    394

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I have a Godin A8 that I'm very happy with -- I play blues and am not looking for the sweet tones that players of many other genres may prefer. However, when I've tried S8's (less expensive instruments), I haven't found that their sound attracted me. The size seems convenient, as one could fit into a suitcase. They're sturdy instruments too. However, when I try them out, they're not my favourites for the price. I suspect that the S8 is, as Cafe members pointed out to me, like my A8, actually an acoustic instrument with a preamp, rather than being a real electric mandolin.

    "What kind of comments do you get from people seeing and hearing for the first time ?"
    I suspect, it's similar to what I get for the A8, which is shaped like a small, electric guitar (and mandolinists generally get, to a lesser degree), "What's that?"

    Addendum
    : To clarify, Seagull is made by Godin, so I'm talking about the same company here.
    Last edited by Ranald; Jun-02-2019 at 12:05pm.
    Robert Johnson's mother, describing blues musicians:
    "I never did have no trouble with him until he got big enough to be round with bigger boys and off from home. Then he used to follow all these harp blowers, mandoleen (sic) and guitar players."
    Lomax, Alan, The Land where The Blues Began, NY: Pantheon, 1993, p.14.

  6. #5
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,255

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I quite like mine. I have travelled with it a lot this year.

    I was lucky enough to go to a music seminar in Crete in March, and I felt that the Seagull was actually good enough to use at it.
    I was studying with a Spanish musician called Efren Lopez, and we were looking at music from Turkey and the Middle East as well as Crete and Bulgaria. I have to say that Efren thought it was a 'really cool instrument', as did several other people. As I often describe it - it's maybe not the best mandolin in the world but it's a very long way from being the worst! Very good playability and surprisingly loud. And honestly, I don't think the tone is bad.

    Judge for yourself. Here is me having a go at a middle eastern tune while I was in Crete.
    https://www.facebook.com/daggergordo...84503155/?t=20
    David A. Gordon

  7. #6

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by stringsattached View Post
    Ok, time for all the owners and wanna bes to comment ,boast or complain about their experiences with this unconventional Mandolin.
    Does the electric version sound great ? Sound ok? Or, Sound bad ?
    What kind of comments do you get from people seeing and hearing for the first time ?
    Even non-owners who have given one of the 3 models a fair assessment should feel free to Pipe in with their comments .
    It's a very decent mandolin. Easy to carry around. The tone is pretty good, much better than I thought it would be. The action is a bit high but I got used to it. I own the electric model, and the its tone when plugged in sounds thin and trebly. It improved quite a bit when I rolled the tone knob down. Overall, when taken for its value, it's a pretty good mandolin.

  8. #7

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I’ve had one for three years and still play it quite often. It’s my favourite for casual living room picking or learning a new tune on. I find the tone quite warm and it’s comfortable to play. I sometimes take it to sessions but generally the lack of volume is an issue in the crowd I run with.
    I think the innovative design is a big plus. It’s set up right out of the box, the fixed bridge makes string changes simple, and the hardware is very good especially the tuners. Flat fingerboard isn’t my preference, but as I said it’s comfortable.

    Excellent choice for a good-quality travelling mando, backup or starter. I’ve never tried the built-in-pickup model but have mic’ed it or slapped a Dyn-M on the top with good results.

    Bear in mind, I’m a Celtic-style player with occasional trips to Old-Time-Town. This ain’t a bluegrass machine.

  9. The following members say thank you to Bill Cameron for this post:


  10. #8

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I just picked one up. It needs new strings, and I am wondering what Seagull puts on, or what others use. I am thinking a light gauge, not my usual J74s.

  11. The following members say thank you to vetus scotia for this post:


  12. #9

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I have been playing a natural S8 for just over a year and I really enjoy it. It has a great tone for what I like and is constructed very well. The sound projects surprisingly well. There are some known quality control issues with the tuner buttons. One of mine cracked in half while doing a string change. The retailer contacted Godin and they shipped a whole tuner to me within a week.

    Regarding the recommended strings, I asked Godin the same question and this is the response I received: "Godin recommend regular light gauge strings from any solid manufacturer. Gauges .010 to .034 (or .036) would do fine."

  13. The following members say thank you to ottawa_adam for this post:


  14. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Invergordon,Scotland
    Posts
    2,255

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by ottawa_adam View Post
    I have been playing a natural S8 for just over a year and I really enjoy it. It has a great tone for what I like and is constructed very well. The sound projects surprisingly well. There are some known quality control issues with the tuner buttons. One of mine cracked in half while doing a string change. The retailer contacted Godin and they shipped a whole tuner to me within a week.

    Regarding the recommended strings, I asked Godin the same question and this is the response I received: "Godin recommend regular light gauge strings from any solid manufacturer. Gauges .010 to .034 (or .036) would do fine."
    I certainly agree that the sound projects surprisingly well. It is louder than most mandolins I have played.
    As regards the tuner buttons, there are no issues with mine - indeed I find the tuners to be really pretty good.

    I use D'Addario J74s on it, like on all my mandolins. Seems fine to me. I should note that I find the tone has improved with time/use/travel. It's more mellow now.

    In general I think it's fine. Plays very well, plenty volume, pretty good tone, excellent for travel - and in fact not very expensive.
    I don't have a pickup in mine so I can't comment on that, but the acoustic instrument I have has been very useful to me.

    Again, people should bear in mind that I'm not looking at it from a bluegrass perspective.
    David A. Gordon

  15. #11

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    I'm an intermediate player and have owned and exclusively played a Seagull S8 (Natural) for 6+ months now. It's my first mandolin so I don't have an instrument to compare it to. Here are my thoughts on it.

    Pros
    -Sounds lovely (I use D'Addario EXP74CM strings); I enjoy playing it a lot and have played with groups with 3 to 12 people. I've had no problems projecting enough sound when in a group.
    -It's pretty, and often gets looks and I often get questions since not many people have seen a two point mandolin before.
    -Not terribly expensive so it can be lugged around easily without too much headache.
    -Good solid construction; the luthier I went to told me that he was impressed and put it's construction above many of the $700 - 1000 models he sees.

    Cons
    -It has thin frets. I'm not sure which side of the camp I should be in when many higher end mandolins have larger frets. I recall it made a big difference for me with guitars.
    -Required professional set-up which cost about $100. It was difficult to play without having the action adjusted by a luthier.
    -Fret board is glued to the top all the way down which means there is no place to slip a strap string under the fret board. You either need to install a strap button, have the strap up by the tuners, or tightly tie it by the end of the fret board (it occasionally slips up on top of the frets).
    -The bridge nut isn't adjustable so I'll probably have to rely on truss rod adjustments between seasons.
    -After playing for months I find that I'm now having trouble where the E strings slip out of their notches during particularly heavy picking (upstroke, usually). I'll need to cut the notch lower to prevent this but since the nut has already been set up to the perfect action height, it may need to be raised again which is a headache I wasn't expecting. Will talk to the luthier.

    Overall opinion is that it's a great travel mandolin for the price. Nice and light and looks beautiful. I just wish it had an adjustable bridge.

    Question for the forum; do you think I should look into replacing the bridge? Wonder what would be a good option to match the look.

  16. #12

    Default Re: Seagull S8 Owners Thread

    The bridge is so specific and unique to the instrument, not to mention firmly glued in place, it is hard to conceive of a replacement unless there was a warranty-covered issue. The saddle (which you refer to as the bridge nut) is also unique in its factory-compensation—unless the bridge itself is damaged in some way, it would be the saddle you would replace when necessary (with an identical one). I’ve never checked if the saddle is glued in (unlikely) or very snugly slotted.

    There’s lots of room on that heel for a strap button; I expect to install one on mine this week when my Stew-Mac parts order comes.

    Koosh, it’s your first mando but not your last. I wouldn’t try to redesign it. The truss rod adjustment (diy) is one of the easiest ways to tweak the action, being non-destructive. Rather than get into modifications beyond a strap button I’d be saving and looking for the next one and contemplating questions like: f-hole or round-hole? Flat or carved top? Radiused fingerboard?

    To be clear I like my Seagull and haven’t adjusted anything in three years of owning it. It wouldn’t be my one and only.

  17. The following members say thank you to Bill Cameron for this post:

    Koosh 

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •